Thursday, March 3, 2011

First things first.

I want to review the last few days, but first things first.  I went to Boston with my good friend Maria on Tuesday and got to eat at my former chef's restaurant. 
Bear with my iphone photos
Josh Ziskin owns La Morra in Brookline, Mass.  I worked for him nine years ago at The Tuscan Grill in Waltham, and I still make some of the food from that restaurant to this day.  He's very talented, and I've been following his goings on for years, and now, I finally got to eat his food again.
Clockwise from top: Arancini, fried olives, salt cod with toast, anchovies wrapped in sage leaves and fried, and polpette (meatballs).
We started with 5 small plates, chef's choice.  The arancini were stuffed with braised beef and mozzarella and were easily the best arancini I've ever had.  The rice was amazingly creamy.
The fried olives were good, but nothing amazing.  The salt cod, the anchovies, and the polpette were fantastic.  The man's always had a way with meatballs. 
After a rather forgettable salad (but what can you do.  It's March), our half-order of gnocchi with braised oxtail appeared.  This is only my second time eating oxtail, my first being on stupid Valentine's Day at the celebrated Purple Yam in Ditmas Park.  It think it's fair to say that was one of the top three worst eating experiences of my life, and even fairer to say the oxtail we had that night was disgusting.  It just tasted gross.  My friend wound up taking it home and feeding it to his dog.  I'm not even kidding.
Anyway, so I knew I had to remedy The Oxtail Situation.  And Josh Ziskin made some damn good oxtail.  The gnocchi was amazing, too.  I believe it was toasted first.  Or panfried.  Added some nice complexity to the dish.  Oxtail Situation remedied.
I wanted to get dessert - I used to love the desserts at the Tuscan Grill (particularly the run raisin gelato), but nothing on the menu looked all that appealing.  Maria and I decided on the panna cotta.  Not sure why, panna cotta always bored me.  But you see that cookie up there next to it?  That cookie was great. 
Tasty cookie.

Also, I left my number for the waitress on the check.  Hilarious.  She was lovely. 

Now.  I'm staying in tonight.  I realized today I have been out every single night for the past week and a half, and I'm starting to feel a little unwell.  So I'm trying to "relax" or whatever.  Sitting still is not my forte these days.  But look at me, I'm sitting in my apartment at 8:30 pm.  I'm basically a monk.
But, let's see.  I went to a tasting on Monday and got to eat some great Thai food, including a very spicy salad.  NYC restaurants sometimes have difficulty bringing the heat, so it's always a nice surprise when I find something actually spicy.
After the tasting, I walked 3 miles to my buddy Andy's house where he, my brother, and I enjoyed a plate of Hot Cheeze, Andy's specialty.  He slices up some cheddar and drizzles on some Sriracha.  Delightful. 
Then met up with some friends at Lincoln Park Tavern or something and bourbon was consumed.  things got a little hazy.
Don't forget to look up.
Yesterday, I met my friend Keavy in Union Square.  I grabbed three bunches of greens and some Fuji apples from the greenmarket and convinced Keavy that walking home was a very, very good idea.  I said things like, "You're gonna feel GREAT!", and "All we've GOT is time", and "Let's just walk for a little while and see how we FEEL".  Also, I promised a beer at the end of our multi-borough stroll.
Keavy had never walked over the Brooklyn Bridge before, so this we had to take that route.  Biking over the Bridge is one of my very favorite things to do, but walking is also lovely. 
It did not disappoint. 
Turkey with comte.  I forgot how much I like comte.
Two hours and six-odd miles later, we were three blocks from our destination and I was experiencing a mini-meltdown.  So we got sandwiches from Brooklyn Larder headed to Washington Commons.
And Keavy got the egg salad, which was incredible.
We tried to take a picture together, but my camera was being a jerk and the self-timer was unavailable for the evening.
We made do.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Guess who got to cut another notch in his belt last night?


That's right.  That's two new notches I've had to cut in my belt in as many months (not a euphemism, perv).  The belt is starting to do that thing where it's getting a little unruly and is kinda flapping around there, but it's a nice reminder everytime I notice it so I'm going to keep wearing it.


 Yesterday I made eggs over squash with some terrible salsa verde I made. 
I used this fine butter.
It's pasture, butter.  Good for you.
Then kitty napped.

she's in there.

Lunch was turkey-tomato sauce over butternut squash (not my FAVORITE, but.) and some torn basil.
With an apple and some almond butter.  I'm getting used to the flavor as opposed to peanut butter.  Apparently, peanut butter is highly allergenic and also notoriously moldy, and my favorite website recommends not eating it. 
Raw almond butter is nice.  It has a deeper, quieter flavor.  Not quite so flashy. 
My face after jogging.
Then I went for a 25 minute jog/walk.  I mostly jogged.  I probably jogged a full mile, which is nice.  I also did upwards of 100 pushups yesterday, as well as did some other weight work.
Then Kitty took a nap.

And I went out to dinner. 
I'd write about today but I must go. 

Night then.

Friday, February 25, 2011

It's clearing up outside.

See that in the distance?  That's the sky clearing up.  I forgot about that feeling - how great it is when skies clear after it rains all day.

What a great feeling. 

Have a great rest of your day.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A long walk, plus a fish.

Sew.   I'm very tired.  I went to the farmer's market yesterday and got this ^ lovely bounty.  Beets, radish turnip, Fuji apples, kale, pork chops (!), garlic, shoulder steak, ground turkey, pasture butter, eggs, rainbow trout, sunchokes, AND shishito peppers.  The dark, leafy green veggies were not in abundance, with the exception of some out-of-season hothouse lettuces, which I did not get.
I started to walk home, thinking I would just hop on the train eventually, but I was having such a lovely walk in the sun that I just walked home via the Manhattan Bridge.
I've never walked over the Manhattan Bridge before, only biked.  I got about a quarter of the way and realized my fear of heights was kicking in.  I just had to power through.  You cant just stop on the bridge.  I knew if I even paused and gave in to the fear, I might have a very very long walk off the bridge ahead of me.  It was nice to not give in to the feeling.

I got home around one thirty and had a couple of eggs and an apple (which did NOT mix well in my stomach - never again) and tried to take a nap.  Later that evening I had a lovely sandwich from the famous Hana Foods in Williamsburg.  I didn't really eat enough yesterday.

Today was a cooking day.  I wanted to cook enough food for the next few days, so I didn't eat out and spend money, and also so I would eat well.

I made what has become a standard dish of mine - a ground turkey tomato sauce and spaghetti squash.  This time, I threw some orange zest in, which actually turned out really well.  It added a nice brightness to the sauce.  To balance that out, I added some grated romano, which wasn't the exact flavor I was looking for, but was still good.
I take crappy pics.  Deal with it.
I also made a salsa verde for the small rainbow trout I picked up.  Boiled a couple of tomatillos and threw them into the blender with some hot pepper, cilantro, basil, parsley, a garlic clove, salt and some evoo (fuck off, we used to use that word in restaurants way before rachel ray).  Needs some work, but still a tasty sauce.
Sometimes I even take REALLY crappy pics.  You just have to deal with that, too.
I used the salsa to cover the trout, which I also stuffed with Mineola orange segments (I bought a billion to slice and put out at a party last weekend and totally forgot, so if you're wondering about all the orange in my cooking, now you know why) and baked it in the oven.  I ate it with some butternut squash I also cooked up this evening.  My romantic relationship with the rainbow trout vendor at the Greenmarket is over.  That is one bony little fish.  Decent clean flavor, but all those BONES...
I also roasted up some sunchokes.  I don't think I've cooked with them before, which is weird.  I look forward to experimenting with them.  They have a nice, buttery flavor (could be because I roasted them in lard), but I do kind of wish I had peeled them.

While I cooked, my brother cooked along side of me, starting preparations on a meal he's cooking for a friend later in the week. 
His attention to detail is impressive.
Cooking alongside my brother all night and listening to music?

He's wearing the hoodie I got him for Christmas a couple years back, and the Team Kyle tshirt from my birthday extravaganza underneath. 

 What could be better?
Have a good night.

PS: I really, really, feel like going for a run but am so, so tired.  I feel weirdly emotional, and I think the run would help, but I can barely keep my eyes open.  K.  Thoughts over.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

We Go To Boston To Get Maria's Lipo Checked Out

 A trip to Boston this morning.  Mari had to get to the doctor.  We shared a turkey sandwich and two bananas on the ride up.

First things first, a flat tire an hour outside New York.  That slowed things down a bit.
 We made it to her appointment because Maria went no slower than 80 mph the entire rest of the way.  We were fifteen minutes early, actually.
 Then, we went to Sichuan buffet where I ate a combination of veggies and meat (the bok choy was surprisingly good).  It should be noted that I ate a delicious dessert (!) that involved ice cream, my third time having it in four and a half months.  I only eat it when it's STRONGLY suggested to me.  And it was totally worth it.
 We also got to go to a truck stop.  I picked up a car charger for my iphone because I had to charge my cell phone at Sichuan Palace and it had to lay on the floor while doing so and I had to keep my eye on it and whatnot and I felt like a weirdo.  So.  Charging in the car from now on.
 The truck stop sells everything.  CD's.
 Really beautiful faux-gold-and-daimond miniature semis.  Love poems.

We got gas.  And back to New York.  I'm having a beer, and then I'll do some pushups.  To bed.
Tomorrow - farmer's market and the gym.  Maybe doncing.  All I want to do is donce, really.


Saturday, February 19, 2011


I need to post but this needs to be quick.  I'm having a party tomorrow and have committed to making an unmanageable amount of food.
I have got to start bringing my own breakfast.  This Starbucks oatmeal is pretty bad.  But it does keep me full for a while.
Lunch was corporate deli salad.  chicken, tuna, egg, veggies.  No tuna next time.  NO TUNA NEXT TIME.  Somebody remind me.
 I also added a whole BUNCH of raw sunflower seeds.
Dinner was kale long-cooked with caramelized onions and homemade chicken stock.  Also two "turkey dinner sausages" from Brooklyn Cured.  And half an avocado. DELICIOUS.  SO TASTY. 
Time for some pre-party cooking AND a workout in between sheets of oven fries.
The lovely Isabel visited me today.

Night then.

No tuna next time.